15 Signs You Grew Up as a Hawker Kid in Singapore -Smart Local

Real Singaporeans Eat Hawker Food


Eating at a hawker centre is one of every true blue Singaporean’s favourite past-times. Some of us lunch there daily, and some of us dabble on occasion. Whatever the case, if you’ve ever claimed to love a plate of Char Kway Teow or swooned over a plate of perfectly cooked Chicken Rice, this list is for you.

1. Your favourite hawker knows you by name.

b2ap3_thumbnail_download.jpgVisiting the same stall 5 times a week has given you VIP status. While other kids get “ah boy” or “ah girl” the auntie calls your name and the other people in the queue are super jealous of you.

2. You communicate with the stall uncle with a nod.


Part of the VIP status is also an unspoken language. The auntie already knows your regular order so all you have to do is raise your fingers to indicate how many packets you need.

3. Food above $5 is absolutely ridiculous in your books.


Eggs Benedict for $12? Big Mac for $5.55? You could buy 2 packets of chicken rice at that price!

4. Your first stop after returning from overseas is a Bak Chor Mee stall.

b2ap3_thumbnail_high_street_tai_wah.jpgHome sweet home

You dread every moment being away. You miss the scent of your favourite dish, and the second you touch down, you dash to a hawker centre with all your luggage in tow.

5. You always have tissue paper with you.


Tissue paper is indispensable for you – you wipe your mouth after a meal with it, the sweat off your brow after biting into chilli padi, but most importantly chope seats with it.

6. You have lost friends because they think their favourite stall is better than yours.


Alex thinks Block 470’s Crab Bee Hoon is better than Block 471’s. You think he’s crazy and it’s completely justifiable to throw away 15 years of friendship. UNFRIEND.

Also, he’s wrong.

7. Your hawkers know more about your past than your friends.




You’ve been going to the same stall since you were 5 years old, you were there when you celebrated after scoring for a test, and when you broke up with your first love. Through those times, you were comforted with the same bowl of Wonton Mee from auntie’s stall.

8. The smell of a hawker centre is intoxicating for you.


You don’t mind smelling like a hawker centre after lunch even though your colleagues hate it. Smelling like deep Fried You Tiao and Sambal Stingray sounds amazing! What’s wrong with that?

9. You have custom recipes of your favourite dishes.

b2ap3_thumbnail_enhanced-buzz-15223-1290541770-3.jpgThere are a million ways to cook turkey but this is my way! 

You have all these hacks that you think will make your dish taste better, “lesser vinegar, more prawns more lard!”. Hawkers hate you for all your special requests, but you’ll only have it your way no matter how crazy the demands.

10. Taking mixing to a whole new level and in a true hawker style.

b2ap3_thumbnail_guinness_1024.pngSome may call it blasphemy but you know better. Mixing your Chin Chow with your Tao Huay, for a burst  of flavour or even mixing your stout with some beer for maximum flavour to create Beer Gao. Seems like an unlikely mix, but really, you’re just missing out!

11. You’re that guy your friends always ask “where to eat”.


Whenever your friends crave for a particular dish, you’re the first on they text for info. Coincidentally, people only talk to you just before lunch or dinner. Damnit.

12. You revel in chaos and can’t stand quiet surroundings.


There is a beautiful type of chaos. And then there’s a chaotic type of chaos. You fall in the latter. You feel uneasy dining in luxurious restaurants and long for the sound of clashing plates and aunties saying “xiao di, ni yao sugarcane mah?

13. You compare other dishes to hawker dishes.


Chicken Cordon Bleu? Chicken Rice tastes better, Spanish Paella? Nasi Lemak more shiok! Your argument is always how you can get cheaper and better tasting food below your HDB. In singlets and slippers.

14. You will travel across Singapore to have that special plate of Hokkien Mee.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4214-Copy.JPGNo Wonton Mee is too far and no Lor Mee is too high. You will scale mountains and swim across rivers to taste your favourite dishes. But to travel for 20 minutes to meet your Carousell buyer in Tiong Bahru? NO WAY!

15. There will always be a hawker kid in you.


Sometimes, you feel more at home eating in Lau Pa Sat than your own dining room. You don’t eat at home enough and it feels weird when you do. Hawker centres are an all encompassing experience, the Mary-Jane to your Spiderman. It’s not just a place, it’s a lifestyle!

With your affection towards hawker centres, possible career paths include morphing into the uncle who watches soccer matches with his khakis or a corporate bigshot who still queues up for his favourite chicken wings. The point is, no matter where you go or who you become, you will always be a hawker kid at heart.



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